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Press zooms in on President’s task on BoG to tackle high interest rates, others

The task by President Akufo-Addo on the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to interrogate the cause of the high interest rates…

The task by President Akufo-Addo on the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to interrogate the cause of the high interest rates in the country and come up with an appropriate action plan to address the problem is one of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Monday.The Times reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to interrogate the cause of the high interest rates in the country and come up with an appropriate action plan to address the problem.

“It is not right that the Central Bank’s Monetary Policy Rate stands at 13 percent while the commercial banks lend to the private sector at rates of 21 percent and above.

“This is a gap we have to bridge, if we are to realize the vision of a Ghana whose economy is globally competitive,” he said

The President said this when he inaugurated the Governing Board of the BoG at the Jubilee House in Accra last Friday.

Chaired by the Governor of BoG, Dr Ernest Kwamina Yedu Addison, the board also has Dr Maxell Opoku-Afari and Mrs Elsie Addo Awadzi, the First and Second Deputy Governors of the Central Bank as members.

President Akufo-Addo commended the members on their appointment, indicating that they had been carefully chosen because of their expertise, knowledge and accomplishments to assist the work of the Bank

“I am counting on this board with its diverse experiences, talents and skills to support the agenda of the bank and help formulate policies necessary for the achievement of its objectives. This is a charge I am confident you will keep,” he said.

The newspaper says that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will, this week, hold meetings with the manufacturers of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines in Germany on plans to establish a national vaccine institute in Ghana.

The President hopes to solicit the support of the global vaccine manufacturing company for the establishment of the vaccine institute.

The meeting forms part of President Akufo-Addo’s official working visit to Germany, at the invitation of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

Briefing the media at the maiden edition of the Jubilee House Press Briefing with the Presidential Press Corps at the Jubilee House last Friday, the Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, said there would also be discussions on the procurement of more Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for the national COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Mr Arhin said the President would participate in the G20 compact initiative programme established by the German Chancellor to promote private investments in Africa, including Ghana.

He said President Akufo-Addo’s visit was aimed at deepening the ties of cooperation and the bond of friendship between Ghana and Germany.

The Graphic reports that the outgoing Egyptian Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Emad Magdy Hanna, has said that Ghana’s good foreign policy makes the country a leader in African affairs with credible global standing.

These, he explained, were evident in Ghana becoming the hub of international conferences, including the hosting of the ACFTA Secretariat and the election of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as a two-term Chairman of ECOWAS, coupled with Ghana receiving the highest vote to the UN Security Council.

Mr Hanna said this when he paid a farewell visit to the Jubilee House to inform President Akufo-Addo about the completion of his three-year duty tour of the country.

Mr Hanna further commended the government and the people for the support and proverbial hospitality they offered him during his tenure which “made Ghana my home away from home. Even though I am going home, I am taking Ghana along with me”.

The ambassador also lauded the country’s health sector for “the wise measures” they took to help deal with the COVID-19 pandemic which he said had made Ghana a model for other countries.

According to Mr Hanna, the onset of the pandemic did not affect the growing relationship between Ghana and Egypt since they continued to engage in virtual meetings, visits and other progressive engagements and agreements and said such efforts would soon yield the needed results.

He said the two countries had reached a trade balance of $100 million, and that was expected to increase to about $150 million soon.

President Akufo-Addo said Ghana’s relations with Egypt had a firm foundation from the days of Ghana’s independence.

He said the collaboration between Dr Kwame Nkrumah and his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Nasser, formed the firm basis for the future relationship of the two nations.

The newspaper says that Ghana Health Service (GHS) will from Monday to Friday September 3, this year, begin a Mass Drug Administration (MDA) for onchocerciasis (river blindness) in endemic regions in the country.

The five-day programme is targeting 4,740,039 people in 66 districts across 13 regions at no cost to the beneficiaries.

The regions include Ahafo, Ashanti, Bono, Bono East, Eastern, North East and Northern.

The rest are Oti, Savannah, Upper East, Upper West, Western and Western North.

At a media briefing on the MDA in Accra yesterday, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, said the exercise, which was done annually, formed part of national interventions at eradicating the public health condition, latest by 2030.

“Dosage is by height for all people above five years with height more than 90 cm using a measuring pole and administered directly under supervision. During the period, Community Drug Distributors (CDD) would visit every household to register and give out mectizan/Ivermectin tablets to eligible individuals,” he said.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye said MDA for river blindness was done twice every year to ensure that every eligible person living in a defined geographical area, regardless of whether or not they were infected or not, received a single dose of the Ivermectin drug.

He assured the public that the drugs that would be administered had been proven locally and internally to be safe and effective and pleaded with all eligible persons to make themselves available for the exercise.

Onchocerciasis is one of the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) caused by a parasitic worm called Onchocerca volvulus.

It is spread through repeated bites of an infected blackfly known scientifically as Simulium.

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